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Lead Poisoning in Dogs

3 min read



Lead poisoning should be considered an emergency that requires immediate care. Often, chelation therapy -- a detoxifying therapy whereby chelating agents are given through the mouth to bind the lead found in the gastrointestinal system and prevent further absorption -- is the first course of treatment. There are many types of chelating agent available for various types of poisonings, and selection of chelating agent will be made by the attending veterinarian.


Your veterinarian may also perform a gastric lavage to remove and clean the stomach contents if the lead has been ingested within hours of medical care. This method uses water to wash, clean and empty the stomach cavity and digestive tract of poison.


There are also some drugs available that can help in lowering the body load of lead, especially in cases where concentrations of lead in blood are very high. Other symptoms will be treated accordingly.


Living and Management


Most dogs recover within 24 to 48 hours after initial treatment. Prognosis in affected animals is positive if treated quickly; however, dogs with uncontrolled seizures have a more guarded prognosis.


Because humans and other animals are at risk from the same source of lead, your veterinarian is required to report the incident to relevant authorities. You may need to identify the source of lead to prevent further human or animal exposure. If source of lead is not identified and eliminated, future episodes are not uncommon and may pose greater risks.




Often the best way to prevent this type of poisoning is to remove materials and objects containing lead from your home.


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